Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Latest Updates: Moderna, Inovio

At least 10 coronavirus-vaccine candidates are in late-stage studies, according to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.
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Markets are touching records on Monday as reports of progress with coronavirus vaccine candidates lead the headlines and infections in the U.S. spiked. 

States including Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Wisconsin have announced new pandemic restrictions amid the expected fall/winter surge in cases. 

While those restrictions will continue to hamper U.S. economic growth, vaccine-related reports from several pharmaceutical companies have investors feeling confident. 

At least 10 different coronavirus vaccine candidates are currently in late-stage studies, according to the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, the Rockville, Md., group connecting people and organizations involved with regulating health-care and related products.

Here is a rundown of the latest coronavirus vaccine news.

Moderna

On Monday Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report said its developing coronavirus vaccine candidate in a late-stage study hit a 94.5% efficacy rate, which surpasses the 90% efficacy rate of Pfizer's  (PFE) - Get Report candidate.

Moderna said its product can last as long as six months when stored at standard freezer temperatures of minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with the minus-94 degree temperature required for the Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer

Last week, Pfizer said that its vaccine candidate was 90% effective in late-stage trials and that it planned to seek emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month.

Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla was bullish on the drug on Twitter

Inovio

Shares of drugmaker Inovio  (INO) - Get Report jumped Monday after the company said that it had started a midstage study of its covid-19 vaccine candidate after the company received regulatory clearance.

The Phase 2 trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of its treatment candidate when compared with a placebo. 

Johnson & Johnson

On Sunday Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report said that it had started a two-dose Phase 3 trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The company is proceeding to enroll as many as 60,000 participants in the study worldwide. 

Vaxart

Vaxart VXRT rose last week after it said that results from a study of its coronavirus vaccine using hamsters showed promising signs of the vaccine's effectiveness. 

Unlike other potential vaccines showing promise, Vaxart's can be kept at room temperature and would not require a cold chain to transport it. 

Vaxart said the lung viral load of the virus was significantly reduced in hamsters that received two oral vaccine doses, as compared with non-vaccinated animals. 

Antibody titers also showed the vaccine-induced a potent immune response, the company said.

Hamsters were given two doses of the vaccine candidate four weeks apart and then exposed to the coronavirus four weeks later.